Category Archives: Basics

Curried Lentil and Rice Stew


Since we are going headlong into soup season, I thought I would share this recipe for a quick-cooking supper, based on both my basic recipe for Indian curry dishes and on a soup that the Bun likes to get for lunch from one of the eateries near his office.  It may not look like much, but this dish, with its combination of brown rice, brown lentils, and red lentils, qualifies as a complete protein.  Where I am not exactly sure how the chemistry of this works, I do know that the combination of legumes and whole grains is not only good for you, it is delicious.  With the heat of the chilies and the depth of the curry powder, this stew will warm your belly and your soul, which is much needed in the forthcoming cold months.

If there is interest, I might start a “Meatless Mondays” regular post.  I read recently that this concept started during wartime, to save on resources and ease the pain of the pocketbook.  Seems like a good idea to me, and I love the challenge of creating a satisfying meal that does not focus on meat.

Pot Roast


When spring-like weather hits in the end of March in Chicago, everyone talks about it with a kind of blissful hopefulness that the winter is finally over.  Wrong.  It always ends up getting cold again and there always seems to be at least a fleeting possibility of snow well into the first few weeks of April.  A warm weather tease is typical for this part of the country, but infuriating, nonetheless.  In an effort to ease the misery of cold, cold winds and grey skies that will inevitably fall up on us again (on a weekend, no doubt), I offer up a suggestion:  Pot Roast.
With any luck there will not be many more opportunities to battle the weather with comfort food, so I highly suggest digging into this one at some point soon.  Like any braised meat, it is a product of time, patience, and a little technique.  Keep in mind the following for this:  sear, saute, season, simmer, (sup).  The fifth “s” is a given, but I believe in the powers of odd numbers.  Because this is mostly a bringing together of ingredients, I’ll just relay what I do in prose, as opposed to a recipe form.

That Beautiful Bread


Olive Oil Bread With Rosemary

Sometimes, you just need to hole up in your space and get down to the business of making some heart-warming foods.  This weekend was very much like that for me, and I am hoping to get a whole series of posts out about the things I made in the next couple of days.  One thing I have started making in the last few years, for the very first time in my life, is yeast breads.  Granted, with the low-carb frenzy of the last decade, I generally shy away from white flour, but there are some times when you just want good old-fashioned bread.  I figure that, as long as I am making it, and I have a reasonable idea of where the ingredients are from, it is better than eating processed white bread or even bread from the grocery store bakery. Continue reading